With the large variety of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the even more numerous amounts of packages, figuring out who and what you want can be complicated. Whether this is your first time choosing an internet provider or you are looking for a new one, remember the following tips during your search.
Look at your goals
Your first step is to decide exactly what it is you’re going to use your internet for. Depending on whether you’ll be gaming, streaming T.V. and movies, or just checking emails and occasionally surfing the web, you will want different speeds. Various internet providers will also offer additional services including spam blocking and parental filters. Some offer wireless internet (WiFi) that requires special hardware, which can be great if you have multiple wireless devices. Aside from speed, you will also want to consider the amount of data you will use. Most people only need 2-5 GB, while businesses and heavy internet users may need upwards of 10 GB a month.
Think about your location
Depending on your area, different internet providers may have limits on what’s available or may not even provide service to your home. Many ISPs have maps showing where they have services and products available by zip code. Some limitations can be caused by your exact location, like not having a good place for a dish or not having up-to-date wiring. Some apartments offer free WiFi or built-in fiber optics, so consider this when contacting internet providers.
Look at the contracts and bundles available
Many ISPs have a variety of contracts and bundles available to their users. These contracts are typically on a monthly or yearly basis. Most of the monthly contracts will cost less up front, but charge for any hardware and labor. Annual contracts cost less in the long run and often won’t charge for parts or labor. Many providers will pair with phone and television providers to create bundles that give you a discount on all the services. If you decide you want to go with a bundle, check the length of the deal and the price after as well.
Keep in mind that some bundles have different contracts than what the phone or television providers themselves would offer. If you know exactly what you want, you may try negotiating a custom contract, which can be easier to do with local providers. You will also want to check where to get the deals, as some are only offered online or over the phone. Calling to ask questions and ensuring you get what you need is essential as well. Always print out the service agreement for your own records after reading it when you have chosen an internet provider.
Ask the right questions
Ask if there is a discount for bundling services, and if so, what the conditions are. Most internet service providers will pair with other services to create deals. However, many require long-term contracts and they may have a limited time that they are active.
See if the internet provider has any specials. Remember, even if a special or deal sounds good, that does not mean it is your best option. Specials often have a limited time frame. You may also have to pay for extra equipment and activation or early termination fees. Ask about any and all fees and taxes including special charges, one-time and special fees, and recurring charges. Be sure to get the date the special ends and the prices before and after as well.
Other questions you might consider asking are if the ISP charges any cancellation or activation fees and if it is possible to switch plans before the contract expires. Also find out if it is better to buy or lease the equipment, what to do if the service goes out, and if there are security services available.
Get information about upload and download speeds
You will want to check the upload and download speeds provided and make sure that they are what you’re expecting. Keep in mind that many promotions are for the lowest amount of service. Some companies will offer trial periods that allow you to make sure the speeds are what you need.
The slowest internet connection available is dial-up. If you only check emails, this may be okay for you, but it isn’t recommended for most users.
Telephone lines, like cable lines, are also used to offer internet as DSL. While it still provides you with high-speed internet, DSL is the slowest of the broadband options. This can be especially true if you live in a rural area. While download times tend to be decent, upload times are typically lacking.
The fastest option currently available is fiber optic internet. While it can be wonderful for those with access, it is limited in most areas. Physical lines have to be placed by the city or county before internet providers can offer this as a service.
Although it can be slower like DSL, a satellite internet connection can be a great option as well. There is a wide area in which providers offer this service. However, the hardware may need regular maintenance depending on the type of equipment, which makes this a more costly option.
Looking for a professional internet service provider?
Communication Connection offers a variety of Internet Services, as well as the latest Smartphones, Tablets, and Device Accessories. We are a Verizon Authorized retailer with the largest 4G LTE network, so you won’t run out of data. Browse our Locations to find a store near you and learn more about our Plans and Promotions today! We have locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma including Amarillo, Borger, Childress, Dumas, Dalhart, Elk City, Guymon, Haskell, Hereford, Hudson Oaks, Mineral Wells, Pampa, Perryton, Shamrock, and Vernon.